TGIF: Gateway Books

Friday, November 4, 2011

TGIF is a new(ish) feature at one of my absolute favourite blogs, GReads!, hosted by the lovely Ginger. It's a way to celebrate the impending weekend, and answer fun questions. Most of all though, you get to know a wee bit more about all those awesome bloggers you meet. So, what are you waiting for? Do your own post and head on over to link up!

Which particular books opened you up to a new genre?

I could say it a thousand times, and I'd honestly sound as though I'm preaching, but there are SO so many books that have opened my eyes to new genres and subgenres that I thought I'd never like. Those who follow me religiously know that I've always had a bit of a strong aversion to contemporary fiction though. And, actually, a lot of you have asked why, so I'll my general reasoning down to three main points:

1. I don't feel like a good portion of contemporary fiction is even remotely like real life adolescence, and that makes me cranky.

2. So much of contemporary fiction paints things in black and white/good or bad/hot or not. Life isn't that simple, or cut and dried. It's complicated.

3. I like messy things. I like watching worlds unravel and spin out of control. I've read too many contemps were it's all ribbons, and ponies and a nonstop Taylor Swift (happy) love song.

That said, I have been proven wrong in quite a few instances this past year, and I can admit when a book changes my mind in a way. So, the top three books that have truly spoken to me on a deeper level in the genre of contemporary fiction are:

The common denominator? They're all dark and twisty and messy. Colour me crazy, but I love it when they are out of control.


  1. Ooh, I definitely agree with you on Dark Song. I've yet to read Leaving Paradise, but I'm reading Perfect Chemistry right now, and I'm in LOVE with Simone Elkeles' style. :) And of course, I still need to get my hands on Raw Blue. *sigh* Can't they bring it to the U.S. already? :P

  2. Leaving Paradise is sooo good!! I will need to look into the other two soon. :)

    TGIF!! Here's my POST!
    Jess @ Gone with the Words
    On Twitter! @gonewiththeword

  3. Hopping through. I wouldn't have thought of Elkeles as someone who didn't paint things black and white. I should read more of her books.
    My Hop

  4. Hopping through. I haven't read any if the books you had above, but maybe I should.

    TGIF, Follow, & Flove Friday

  5. I love the complicated books too...I just hate the really explicit raunchy ones....

    I still have to read Raw Blue!!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I love contemp. fiction, but only those with lots of drama in it. Am I weird for loving that? Probably. :) I don't like those with heavy issues. So not my cup of tea.

  8. I *hope* I've had an influence on your gateway books in to YA contemps ;-) hehe I agree with Leaving Paradise. I loved that book. HATED Return to Paradise though. I was fine with that ending.. it sucked, yeah.. but like you said it wasn't meant to be "pretty". Thanks Melissa for joining TGIF again this week!

  9. I'm of the same opinion where YA contemps are concerned. But if you can find some messy ones that you enjoyed, maybe there's hope for me, too. :)

    Happy TGIF!!!

  10. I definitely like the dark and twisty emotional reads, will check these out.

  11. Dark and twisty work for me the best as well...and not only when it comes to YA books!

  12. I've not yet read any of those...but I definitely agree that sometimes things in Contemporary are just way too neat!

    My TGIF Post

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

  13. These are all books I haven't read yet, but I do want to! Glad you found some contemporary novels you enjoy :)

    Happy Friday!

  14. I don't even remember what book, or which person convinced me to read contemporary. I don't even remember what was my first YA contemporary book.

    I do remember I started reading paranormal because of shelfari and all the raves about Twilight so that was probably my first YA paranormal. And while I do enjoy some paranormal it's definitely not my most favorite genre anymore.

    I think blogging is great cause it opens us up to reading things we may not have even tried otherwise.

  15. *lips goes all pouty....* where is the self portrait!!!?? *snivels and crawls under the pile of books*

    Pabkins @ Mission to Read

  16. Happy follow Friday! I am a follower. Added Dark Song to my wishlist! Sounds like just my kind of book. <3

    Emma Michaels
    I am hosting a giveaway today and would love it if you would enter!

  17. I have such a hard time with contemporary fiction too. I try, and I'm trying *harder* at the nudging of some of my blogger friends. But the truth is - life is the way life is, and I want to be taken to other places when I read. So I like to read fantasy and sci-fi and other things like that. That being said, I do read an occasional contemp every now and then. In fact, I read one yesterday and enjoyed it. I think I enjoyed it, though, because I don't read them too often.

    Glad to know I'm not the only one that isn't a huge huge fan of contemps. :)

    I'm curious about the Elkeles book. I'll have to check into that one.

  18. Thanks for the contemporary recommendations; messy is good because it reflects real life. I've added all three to my TBR list since you said they've changed you in some way.
    -Jenna @ Fans of Fiction (new follower)

  19. I have not read them but I am glad they opened you up to a new world :D

  20. I have got to read my copy of Dark Song. You have mentioned it way to many time for me not to read it. Good posts. Lots of good things to think about as I write for NaNo.


  21. Happy FF. Great Blog. New Follower. My FF:

  22. I'm like you...I like messy things as well. Does that make us masochists? Lol.

  23. I like messy things too. For me, I can relate to it more. It doesn't feel staged but real.


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